The United Kingdom’s Defense Minister, Ben Wallace, on Wednesday offered his country’s support to Finland and Sweden in the event of a Russian attack as part of the possible process of joining the Nordic countries in NATO.
“It is inconceivable that the UK would not support Finland and Sweden “If they are attacked, even without a formal agreement,” Wallace said at a joint press conference with his Finnish counterpart, Antti Kakkonen, in the Finnish city of Ninissalu.
The two ministers observed the military exercises of the Finnish armed forces in this western city, where forces from the United States, the United Kingdom, Estonia and Latvia also participated.
Wallace confirmed again UK support for potential NATO membership application from Finland and Swedenwho are now closer to this option after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, despite Moscow’s warnings.
Regardless of what happens in the face of Finland’s aspirations to join NATO, it is something that Finland must decide freely, and we are here to support their freedom to decide and not allow another country to tell them how to make that decision.”
At the same time, he stressed that he could not imagine the lack of support from the United Kingdom for Finland and Sweden, as well as the situation in which the process of their accession to NATO finds itself.
However, Wallace did not specify what kind of assistance, saying only that “the UK will do whatever it has to do to support Finland”.
When asked whether the integration of Finland and Sweden into NATO would provide more security or increase tensions with Russia, Wallace emphasized that Alliances mean security, and that’s what history shows..
However, he said that NATO ‘does not provoke other countries’Rather, respond firmly to other, more aggressive countries, such as Russia under President Vladimir Putin.”
“It is time for many parts of Europe to realize that Putin is not a friend, he is an aggressor who has spent a great deal of time and money in recent decades undermining our democratic principles through extremist political parties or military threats,” she continued.
While the two ministers were witnessing military exercises in Ninissalu, according to the Finnish Ministry of Defense, a Russian military helicopter violated the country’s airspace near the joint border, the second incident within a month.
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